Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000
Preface Introduction The Club Foundation 1809 Soiree 1899 Movies Member Prestige Council Meetings 1903 Founding President Mees Years 1904-12 The Great War Between The Wars Recorded Years Riots! Police! 1931 Edridge Road, 1932 1932 Nudes Ladies and Exhibitions Club Room eviction The Studio: 1933 Cine! Ladies! 1934 Highs and Lows, 1936 A/V, Stag Party, 1937 Freemasonry 1938 Baird Television 1938 War! 1940: Bombed ! Annual Report 1940-41 Making Do 1941 War Ends 1942-5 A War Retrospective Ladies? 1946 Ladies Admitted 1947-8 35mm Slides arrive Struggling 1949 SLF Out! 1949-50 Troubled 1950 Outings 1951 Winter Season 1951 Celebrations Mees Visits Croydon 1955 1956 Nonexistence 1957 1958-1959 1960 More Success 1961 The Darkroom 1961 Frivolity 1962 All Change 1963 1965-1967 Exhibitions 1967 Photeurop 1968 Photeurop 1969 Years 1970-1972 Terra Nova Years 1973 Years 1974-1975 19 Selsdon Road Years 1977-1979 Changes 1980 Friends Meeting House Close the Club 1983 Progress? 1984 Turnaround? 1985 Years 1987-1988 Slow Revival 1989 About Club Outings The Helpers Postscript
Membership had fallen to 104 and the Club owed £l5 rent : £l0.12/6d to the Hon Secretary for expenses and Bar Sales showed an unacceptable deficit of £6. Average attendance on several occasions only just reached double figures and on grounds of inability to find the extra 7/6d per year Croydon had to withdraw from the SLF.
It was resolved to meet the debts due by selling investments. A proposition to increase the subscription to 25/- was ruled out of order as it meant a change in the Club rules. It should be mentioned that in common with many organisations at this time the subscription rate was part of the Rules, which system had proved totally satisfactory in the past, viz the Rules did not have to be changed as from 1890 to 1922 the subscription remaining at 10/6d. For the next 20 years it remained at 15/-. But after the War price stability for any worthwhile period was never to return and the trouble of having the Rules reprinted upon each subscription increase, led eventually to their being altered to determine "the subscription shall be such sum as approved by Council from time to time".
But in 1950 the Subscription could not be increased at the AGM. Attention was given to missing Club records dating from its foundation, which were thought to be in the hands of E. A. Salt's executors and also the Auditor J. F. Bourne, but after considerable time and effort in pursuing the matter it had to be recorded on 28th May 1952 that no records had been recovered to substantiate the history at that time recorded by John Keane.
The AGM re-elected the President, Secretary and Treasurer, who mentioned it was the first time in the history of the Club to the break the tradition of holding Council meetings on a Thursday. The falling membership may have been attributed to the fact that new members were not made to feel at home but the President replied with some emphasis: "that this was entirely the fault of the members concerned".
The perennial request for outings was raised after previous attempts had had no success but "now that petrol was unrationed" the use of members' cars was being explored.
The idea of a Diamond Jubilee Dinner Dance was dropped as "this would require Evening Dress - an impossibility for most members".
All in all the 60th AGM revealed not the Club in a happy condition and for all endeavours an outing to Godstone and Bletchingley on 13th August only had the support of three members.
And as for the Monthly Print Criticisms the Whole Plate Competition was a failure and the majority of members seemed more interested in criticising other members' work than producing prints themselves for competition. The judging by popular vote was generally agreed unsatisfactory and for the summer session there would be a panel of three senior members -- always provided we had three advanced workers at a meeting!
On 29th June a Bronze Medal inscribed "MacLaren Progress Award" was gratefully accepted by Council and at the meeting on 9th August, C. S. Spackman offered a Bronze Medal for "Composition", also gratefully accepted.
The Winter Session followed the usual pattern of monthly competitions and informative technical lectures.
The Diamond Jubilee Dinner on 4th November at Grants went wrong in a manner not recorded, save it went on so long that guests and members had to walk home (trams and buses did not run as late as they do now), with the result the Club had to send out several letters of apology. Support for the event was poor and left the Club with a liability contributing substantially to the deficit at the end of the year.
Miss Kate Knapman was elected to membership on 29th November 1950 and has the distinction of being the Club's longest serving member.
At the Annual Lantern Slide evening on 13th December it was observed that "colour transparencies dominate" as in previous years. Truly the days of black and white lantern slides were numbered although on 24th January 1951 Johnsons of Hendon Collection was received with great interest and admiration by members.